Collaboration leading to better Cancer Services
Nigel McKinney, centre, at the launch of the Better Together Partnership in November 2013.

Collaboration leading to better Cancer Services

14 November 2013

The Building Change Trust’s Director of Operations, Nigel McKinney was present at the launch of a new cancer support service.

With help from the Trust’s Collaboration Enabling Fund, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland has announced its partnership with locally based charity LiLAC (Life is for Living After Cancer), to bring a full complement of free cancer support services directly into the heart of the Mid Ulster community.

Working from a newly customised centre in Cookstown, the Better Together partnership will provide joint services, as well as those provided independently by each of the charities. 

Meaning a full complement of care services, cancer prevention programmes and practical support will be available in the area on a day to day basis.

Liz Atkinson, Head of Care Services, Cancer Focus, said: “Each charity brings something unique to this partnership. 

"Services brought by Cancer Focus include counselling, art therapy, Beauty for Life, Zest for Life, patient workshops, and a family support service.

"In addition, our cancer prevention programmes in schools, workplaces and community settings empower and support local people to reduce their risk of cancer and recognise potentially suspicious symptoms.

“These combined with the services already provided by LiLAC, such as complementary therapy, a volunteer driver service and practical help, support and friendship will help meet both the emotional and practical needs of local cancer patients, and their friends and family”.

Leanne McConnell, from LiLAC, said: “Our partnership with Cancer Focus means that we have been able to expand our services to people in the Mid Ulster area and offer much more to those who are affected by cancer.

"To date it’s been a hugely successful partnership and we hope it’ll grow from strength to strength.

"We have had so much positive feedback from the work that Cancer Focus does with us and we would urge everyone in the community to use these wonderful services, which are all free of charge.”

The Better Together Centre (14 Union Street, Cookstown) is open Monday to Friday to provide information and services and to sign post to other services available in the area.

All funds raised by LiLAC and Cancer Focus in Mid Ulster are invested back into the local community.

Nigel McKinney said: “The Trust is proud to have played a part in delivering a service that will make a difference to the lives of cancer sufferers and their families on a daily basis.

“Partnerships and initiatives such as this show the potential of more and better collaboration between organisations within the community and voluntary sector". 

More information about CollaborationNI, and the work they're carrying out in helping community and voluntary groups across Northern Ireland work better together can be found on their website.